Thursday, April 17, 2014


Mozambique’s former rebel movement Renamo has agreed to hand over its weapons to the government, and for its men to join the defence and security forces, but it still refuses to demilitarise and become a normal political party, according to Transport Minister Gabriel Muthisse, the deputy head of the government delegation to the long running dialogue between the government and Renamo.  Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, at the end of yet another round of dialogue, one which lasted for seven hours, Muthisse said “Renamo accepts the principle of integrating its men into the defence and security forces, it accepts the principle of handing over its weapons, but it still does not agree to demilitarize. We are saying history tells us there have been cases in which rebels join the armed forces and hand over their weapons – but this does not necessarily mean that those parties or rebel movements cease to have a military component”. Indeed, Mozambique was one of those cases. In 1994, volunteers from Renamo were integrated into the new, unified armed forces, the FADM, Muthisse recalled. “Guns were delivered and were collected, but that didn’t mean that Renamo no longer had a military component”, he said. “So this time, apart from these two activities, it is necessary to envisage a third, which is the demilitarization of Renamo, so that this party comes to have just one vocation – politics”. In the government’s understanding, handing over guns does not, on its own, constitute demilitarisaton.Asked if, during this round, the two sides had discussed Renamo’s demand for senior positions in the armed forces and the police, raised for the first time on Monday, Muthisse said the two sides should discuss each matter at the right moment, obeying the agenda for the dialogue.The two sides could not move on to other themes without concluding the discussion on the matters currently on the table. He pointed out that the Renamo demand to control the armed forces had never been presented before. It was not on the agenda for the dialogue which Renamo itself had proposed a year ago.“We are prepared to discuss the agenda which Renamo presented, and which is registered in the minutes of previous meetings”, said Muthisse.However, on Monday the head of the Renamo delegation, Saimone Macuiana, had made it clear that Renamo would not disarm, until it had secured senior military positions, including that of chief of staff of the armed forces. The Wednesday meeting also continued the discussion of the terms of reference for the participation of foreign observers in monitoring a cessation of hostilities. Muthisse said that once again the two sides could not reach consensus.The call for foreign observers is a Renamo demand, which the government reluctantly accepted but only on condition that the observers monitor the disarmament of Renamo, and the start to reintegrating Renamo gunmen into society, rather than merely observing a simple truce.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Mozambique’s former rebel movement Renamo on Monday demanded senior posts in the armed forces and police as a condition for disarming its remaining gunmen, but the government rejected this demand as “an aberration”.After the 53rd round of the apparently interminable dialogue between the government and Renamo, the head of the Renamo delegation, senior parliamentarian Saimone Macuiana, declared that Renamo would only hand over its guns and its men if the government accepted its demand.“For more than 20 years, the Chief of the General Staff has come from the former Armed Forces for the Liberation of Mozambique (FPLM)”, he said. 
“We think it would be opportune, as from now, if he and his deputy were to come from Renamo. We also said that in the other departments, half should be from Renamo and the other half from the old FPLM. We want our men to be in the army, the navy and the air force. If somebody from Renamo is the commander, somebody from the FPLM should be his deputy and vice versa”.“Obviously some (of the Renamo gunmen) can go into the police, and another part will be socially and economically integrated”, he added.The FPLM was the guerrilla army set up by the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), in the war for independence from Portuguese colonial rule. After independence, it was transformed into a conventional army, and renamed the Mozambican Armed Forces (FAM). 
But the old name did not die, and the army was commonly referred to as the FAM/FPLM.Under the peace agreement signed between the government and Renamo in 1992, both the FAM/FPLM and the Renamo forces were to be dismantled, giving way to new, unified armed forces, the FADM (Armed Forces for the Defence of Mozambique). The agreement envisaged a 30,000 strong FADM with 15,000 coming from the FAM/FPLM and 15,000 from Renamo.But the agreement also stated that they must all be volunteers – and after a 16 year war, there were not many volunteers to be found on either side. Attempts to pressgang men into the FADM failed, and in mid-1994 a wave of mutinies spread through both the government and Renamo assembly points where fighters had gathered to be demobilised. The vast majority of troops on both sides were demanding to receive their demobilisation pay and to go home. The body in charge of implementing the peace agreement, the UN-chaired Supervisory and Control Commission, with the agreement of both the government and Renamo, decided simply to recruit as many volunteers as possible. The question of parity between the FAM/FPLM and Renamo in the armed forces was dropped.
That was why the FPLM was formed with just 11,579 troops, two thirds from the FAM/FPLM and one third from Renamo. 78,660 troops from the two sides were demobilised.In the two decades since then, the FADM has grown on the basis of normal military recruitment – mostly conscripts, but a good sprinkling of volunteers. 18 year olds registered for military service are not asked which political party they support. Nonetheless, Macuiana demanded a return to the politicisation of the FADM and of the police, and a reintroduction of the principle of parity – even in specialist unit such as the riot police, and in such bodies as police schools. Only when these demands were granted would Renamo hand over its weapons. He claimed that most of the Renamo volunteers from 1994 had been retired from the FADM, or transformed into advisors or deputy directors, and that officers from Renamo were discriminated against in promotions.Macuiana admitted that men drawn from Renamo are still in the FADM. “We don’t want them to stay there as advisors and cooks for other”, he said. “We want them to be true soldiers in the army. We are not going to bring others. Likewise for the police and the riot police”. The head of the government delegation to the dialogue, Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco, described the Renamo demands as “an aberration”. Such demands, he added, merely demonstrated Renamo’s desire “to continue killing and to maintain disorder and public insecurity”. The Mozambican constitution and subsequent legislation, he said, decree that the state and the public administration should be organised along non-party political lines. Renamo itself had proposed, as the subsequent point in the dialogue with the government, “the depoliticisation of the public administration”. Yet it was now proposing the politicisation of the armed forces.“Renamo has gone as far as to say that the commander must be from Renamo, the chief of the general staff must be from Renamo. This is an aberration!”, Pacheco declared.  He said the government will try to persuade Renamo to have a sense of the State, and to strike a patriotic attitude. 

“The time has come for Renamo to show that it wants peace, by demilitarising itself”, Pacheco said. “It must accept that the observers are coming to monitor demilitarization”. Renamo had demanded foreign observers, and the government eventually accepted. But no observers have yet been formally invited, since there is no agreement on their terms of reference. The government insists there is no point in observers coming unless they are going to observe the disarming of Renamo.“The government has shown its concern for the national interest, and so far has made concessions”, continued Pacheco. “But we cannot hand over the destiny of Mozambique on a platter. The people have given us the task of leading their destinies. Renamo has to show that it is interested in the development of the Mozambican economy, on the basis of democracy and respect for human life”. Pacheco insisted that the government want to reintegrated into society “those citizens who, unfortunately, are being used as an instrument to kill our brothers”. The recruitment of the Renamo fighters into the FADM, should be on the basis of their skills, he said. Those who could not be recruited, would be given a military pension, or simply sent back into civilian society.Renamo, he accused, was a party “which has embarked upon violence to achieve power. But the government will make efforts so that Renamo ceases its violence and can re-insert itself into the social life of Mozambicans”.


Mozambique’s presidential elections will take place in October, with or without the participation of Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the former rebel movement Renamo, declared the secretary for mobilisation and propaganda of the ruling Frelimo Party, Damiao Jose, on Sunday.Cited in Tuesday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, Jose was speaking in the southern province of Inhambane, where he is part of a Frelimo Central Committee brigade preparing the party for the elections.He dismissed fears that the elections will have to be postponed because Dhlakama is still in hiding, and his exact whereabouts are unknown.Jose said that a refusal by Dhlakama to take part in the elections would not be a problem for Mozambican democracy, although it would be preferable if Renamo had a presidential candidate and did not simply boycott the polls.He pointed out that there is an electoral timetable, and it must be scrupulously obeyed. Elections would not be postponed “because Dhlakama is still in the bush. With or without Dhlakama, the Mozambican people are going to vote. That is why Frelimo is on the ground preparing its victory, and that of its presidential candidate, Filipe Nyusi”.He claimed that people who once believed that Renamo could be an alternative to Frelimo are having second thoughts, “because they have now understood that this former rebel movement remains irresponsible, intransigent and against the country’s development”.In its dialogue with Renamo, he continued, the government had shown that its interest was to consolidate national unity, and maintain peace and development while Renamo’s goals were “just to mistreat the Mozambican people”.The concessions the government had made to Renamo showed its desire to see the people developing their activities freely and spontaneously, but that was not the case with Renamo. “It’s clear that Renamo has two factions”, he said, “one living well in Maputo, and another which only knows how to destroy and hurt its brothers”.Asked whether the Renamo armed incursion into Inhambane in January would not damage the elections by dissuading citizens from voting, Jose said the government is working to eliminate foci of violence and destabilisation not only in Inhambane and the neighbouring province of Sofala (where the overwhelming majority of armed attacks have taken place), but throughout the country “because threats to order and security are important factors, not only for elections, but also for attracting investment”.Dhlakama has not been seen in public since the armed forces (FADM) overran his bush headquarters at Satunjira, in Sofala, on 21 October. Since then he has been in contact with journalists and Renamo officials by mobile phone. He is believed to be still in Sofala, probably in the densely wooded slopes of the Gorongosa mountain range.

Sick shot dies in hospital

Two assassins on Tuesday morning invaded Mozambique’s largest health unit, Maputo Central Hospital, and shot a patient dead.The victim, 26 year old Arao Alfredo Elias, was serving a sentence in the Maputo top security prison. He was hospitalized in order to undergo surgery.According to a press release from the Ministry of Health, the criminals attempted to enter the hospital premises by the rear entrance in a vehicle. They showed the hospital security guards identity documents which identified them as policemen. The guards were suspicious and refused to let them in.It is believed that they then parked their car and scaled a wall to enter the hospital. They went straight to the orthopaedic ward, where they knew that Elias was hospitalized. They threatened and assaulted the medical staff on duty, and when they located Elias, they dragged him out of bed, took him to the building in front of the orthopedic services and shot him dead.The sound of shots alerted the hospital guards, who rushed to the orthopaedic services. But by the time they arrived, the two murderers had already made their getaway.The hospital administrative director, Zacarias Zidonga, cited in Wednesday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”, said he thought it appalling that such an event should occur inside a hospital. Regardless of what Elias may have done, “if he’s a patient, that means he’s ill and needs help”. The hospital immediately notified the police, but so far the criminals are still at large. The motive for the murder is not yet known. 


Mozambican prosecutors processed 876 cases of alleged corruption, embezzlement and theft of state funds in 2013, Attorney-General Augusto Paulino told the county’s parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Wednesday.Giving his annual report on the state of Mozambican justice, Paulino said charges were brought in 296 cases, 138 of which have come to trial. The public prosecutor’s office declined to prosecute in 45 cases, and the remainder are still undergoing investigation.Since 2008, he added, charges have been brought in a total of 1,318 alleged cases of corruption, embezzlement and similar cases, but only 508 of these cases have come to court.Some state managers escaped criminal prosecution but have been instructed to repay money that had been improperly spent. Paulino said that in 2013, the Administrative Tribunal, the body that oversees the legality of public expenditure, fined 128 managers for “financial infractions” and ordered them to repay money that had been diverted to purposes for which it had not been budgeted. He added that the Administrative Tribunal had undertaken 450 audits and the General Inspectorate of Finance 260 audit “to assess the use or application of public resources”. “We are aware that the battle against corruption is far from being won”, said Paulino. “However, we remain convinced that, with the involvement of all state bodies, of the entire judicial machinery, and of all our people, we shall reduce the phenomenon to insignificance”.  Paulino also gave examples of some particularly horrific murders connected with superstition and black magic. In one case, in Angonia district, in the western province of Tete, five people beat a man to death on 16 March 2013, and then removed his jawbones and his genitals (body parts are sometimes used in witchcraft rituals).Four of the gang were caught and tried in October, but only one was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to the maximum prison term of 24 years. Two others were sentenced to two years, while the fourth was acquitted for lack of evidence. On 22 July, in Pebane district, Zambezia province, a witch doctor and his assistant convinced their three victims that they had the power to make them rich. For this magic to work, the three had to deliver to the swindlers everything of value they already owned, and then dig holes in which they were then buried alive.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Two editorial lines of MRI and "extremism" of the Mozambique Channel

Radio Mozambique (RM), which should be, in view of the number of customers it has, the most important media organization in the country, is, for me, a very interesting case journalistically. Should be, MRI, the body of information, almost crystalline form, has, in material terms, two editorial lines: one, applied and applicable to the vast majority of their hosted several journalists in their newsrooms, all in country and other applied and apply to your two correspondents abroad, this time Faustino Church in Blantyre (Malawi), and Gabriel Mussavale in Pretoria (South Africa).
But why this way of seeing things?
Discussions "hot" Joyce Banda, president of Malawi, has with his fellow party and government, are subject prefencial in news production of the corresponding MRI in that country; from neighboring South Africa, seeks to capitalize Mussavele, in its orders, for example, the scandals in which Jacob Zuma, President of that country, walking involved almost constantly, as many presidents ... this world. But for the dozens of journalists from MRI based on various parts of the country [Mozambique], this kind of issue does not meet, and alleged unrealistically, the most basic criteria of newsworthiness. Events expondos Graúda we only gain the status of news when the motto is "reacting" to the only "other" is news, which even has the potential to confound those who only have MRI their only means of communication.
"The day I nominate myself correspondent in Malawi or South Africa, I will be a happy professional, because now I will apply all that, as a journalist, do not leave me here," he told me a few days ago, a senior journalist of MRI, one just kidding but seriously.
The Mozambique Channel weekly newspaper is no less "interesting" in terms of news production, at least from the material point of view: for this publication, only one extreme, one that, as far as it seems to me, that favors or promotes the image of right opposition party, or which is negative for the government, can gain status news. It's easy to justify himself by saying that "news is what goes wrong rather than what is going well," but does not seem to believe me hit, the readers, that the Government only spoils, never does well, never sees, is always out rails, etc.. I do not, it should be clear that a newspaper make government propaganda, but what is positive and fit the basic criteria of newsworthiness, it might not be bad after journalistically, perhaps even the "bad" follow these examples the ...
MRI, being public, worries me too. The Constitution itself up care, having in mind its urgency for all of us to give a guarantee of independence to all its employees, at least from the point of nominal, clear view. Still though, as to what cogito on the Mozambique Channel, Good Fernando Veloso coibirá not to "dispel equiívocos" ...
On public service media, it occurs to me to share what Luso-Mozambican José Rodrigues dos Santos, who has been director of public information RTP twice (when PS was a government and another when PSD was in power), once said: "When I was director of information received often calls from ministers, saying 'I'm not worried about going out on television a long time ago,' and I always answered them, 'I'm glad you do not go out, as this means you're on the right track; on the day that you do not do what you expect of yourself, you will be news, perhaps even to open the newscast '. "
The recurring question, at least in the circles of media studies, "why the news are like?", Is actually an attempt at explanation same as I describe above situations.
Nelson Teasing with support Productions thinkers such as Michael Schudson and Gaye Tuchman, summarized the discussion of the theory explaining the news in seven "theories" which try to present the following with the help of no less quoted researcher Jorge Pedro Sousa:
. 1 Theory mirror within which the news is seen as the mirror of reality, as the professional ideology of the journalist;
. 2 Theory of personnel action or gatekeeper, whereby the result of the selection of news events, based, above all, the particular choices of each selector journalist [of events that must be processed in news];
3. Organizational theory, which argues that news result of organizational limitations that are "manufactured", among which stand out the hierarchies, forms of socialization [professional], the acculturation of journalists [provenance d] the resources financial that body and its editorial line;
4. Theory of political action in the wake of which the news is "dissonant" of reality, because their "manufacturers" have no autonomy and are subject to ideological control, which makes them act as "an instrument at the service of the ruling class and power "; some advocates of this theory say that the majority of journalists "leftist" news tend to favor a "liberal" view of the world;
. 5 structuralist theory, which states that the news is socially constructed product that reproduces the dominant ideology, legitimizing, with it, the status quo;
6 constructionist theory, one that is considered by many thinkers / scholars of media as the "most elaborate", argues that stories are stories that result from a process of construction -. Linguistic, organizational, social and cultural - and therefore can not be seen as the mirror of reality, they are, first of all, "discursive nonfiction articles" of reality;
7. Interactionist theory, to which the news should be seen as a process of perception, selection and processing of events in news, under the pressure of time, by a group of professionals "relatively autonomous and empowered, which shares a common culture ". Here, journalists are seen not as passive observers but as active observers as active participants in the construction process of reality.
 Always, but especially in election years - Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa, for example, has 2014 as an election year! - We realize that the news also, as recommended Michael Schudson, taking into account that (i) "they are a product of the people and their intentions" (personal action), (ii) "they are a product of news organizations of its way to adapt to the environment and its constraints, regardless of the personal intentions of the actors "of the production process (social work), and (iii)" they are a product of culture and the limits of the conceivable that a culture imposes irrespective of personal intentions and organizational constraints "(cultural activities). Mozambique Even if we consider a draft" media democracy ", I think it would make sense to think that journalists are, in whole and in all, the" bad guys ". In South Africa, for example, with the Parliament until dissolved, mechanisms allowed by law were driven to a parliamentary committee was composed in the wake of very serious information about Jacob Zuma that the provider of justice in that country included in its report. For my beautiful Mozambique, with the Parliament in full effect and even in session, desengane up those who might think that a committee will be created, for example, to investigate the latest developments in digital migration. In South Africa, the general secretary of the ANC itself, that Zuma is president, went public to recognize the seriousness of the charges against him. For now, my good friend Damian Joseph of speeding up to defend Valentina Guebuza long before seeking to know the "mechanics" and "dynamic" digital migration as such, the point of mentioning the tender only he knows. God help us!
Anyway, I end with a confession and a question: "Agramo maningue" the news! And what would we do if there was no news? (Ercinio Salema)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Four workers in the Zambezia Provincial Hospital, in the central Mozambican city of Quelimane, have been arrested in connection with the theft of medicines, according to Bernardo Duce, the spokesperson for the Central Office for the Fight against Corruption (GCCC).Giving the monthly GCCC press briefing on Tuesday, Duce said “the medicines are state property and so, whenever such situations occur, those responsible will be held accountable”. Two senior officials of the public electricity company, EDM, in the northern province of Nampula, were arrested for their role in an illicit scheme which drained 526,000 meticais from EDM’s coffers. Duce did not name them, but said one of them was the director of the EDM Nampula Operational Area, and the other was the head of the Financial Department in the province.He also announced that a law officer working for the Higher Council of the Public Prosecutor’s Office has been accused of stealing 70,000 meticais (about 2,300 US dollars), intended to pay for travel allowances.A member of the Mozambican police at Matalane Practical Police School in Maputo Province was accused of soliciting bribes of 65,000 meticais from four people whom he promised to put onto the police course. The investigation in that case is complete and it has been sent to court for trial.A further two policemen have been charged with corruption in the central city of Beira. Duce said they had come across two citizens carrying a fishing net and without any identification. They demanded proof that the net belonged to the two men, and when no documents were forthcoming they arrested them and demanded a bribe of 1,000 meticais each to release them.Two traffic policemen, stationed at the Maputo City Police command, left Maputo without authorisation, and set up an illegal checkpoint in Manhica district, about 70 kilometres north of the capital, where they extorted money from passing motorists. But they were caught red-handed by a local prosecutor, who realized that the checkpoint should not be there.Duce also reported the detention of a trader who paid a bribe of 40,000 meticais to an official of a district government (which district was not revealed) in an attempt to ensure that his project was approved for a loan from the District Development Fund (FDD). Asked about the award of the contract for the digitalization of radio and television to the Chinese company Startimes Software Technology, without a public tender, Duce said he could make no comment.Claims have been made in some of the media that the contract is highly irregular, particularly because Focus 21, a company owned by President Armando Guebuza and his family, has a 15 per cent holding in a second company of the Startimes group, Startimes Media Mozambique. Duce said he only became aware of the contract through the press “and currently we have no relevant information. If we have information, we will share it with you in the future, but right now we have nothing”. 


The Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, on Wednesday unanimously passed the first reading of a bill on conservation areas which dramatically increases the penalties for poaching, particularly of endangered species.Introducing the bill, Tourism Minister Carvalho Muaria said the current legislation “does not allow for severe penalties against offenders, and so there are no measures that discourage poaching”. The pressure on wildlife from poaching had increased significantly in recent years. The animals most at risk were elephants and rhinoceros. Muaria said that, in the last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, Mozambique’s largest conservation area, the Niassa Reserve, in the far north, had lost elephants to poachers at the rate of two to three a day.The Minister noted that Mozambique is also used as a corridor to smuggle ivory and rhino horns (often from rhinos killed in South Africa) to the Asian market. The bill proposes prison sentences of between eight and 12 years for people who kill, without a licence, any protected species, or who use banned fishing gear, such as explosives or toxic substances. The same penalty will apply to people who set forests or woodlands on fire (poachers often use fire to drive animals into the open).Anybody using illegal firearms or snares, even if they do not catch protected species, can be sentenced to two years imprisonment.In addition, those found guilty of the illegal exploitation, storage, transport or sale of protected species will be fined between 50 and 1,000 times the minimum monthly national wage in force in the public administration (at current exchange rates, that would be a fine of between 4,425 and 88,500 US dollars).Violation of the provisions of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) could also result in a fine of up to a thousand times the national minimum wage. So ivory or rhino poachers, if caught, are looking at a prison term of 12 years and a fine of almost 90,000 dollars).Those who degrade ecosystems through deforestation, fire “or any other voluntary act” will be obliged to restore the area to its previous condition. If they cause the decline of any wildlife species, they will have to pay for restocking, in addition to any other penalties imposed by the courts. “The Mozambican state fully accepts its responsibility to humanity to protect the biological diversity on its territory”, said Muaria.
 The bill, he added, also seeks to ensure the “rehabilitation and reorganisation of conservation areas, and to design innovative and pragmatic management models, reconciled with the interests of the public and private sectors and of the communities who live within and nearby the conservation areas”.Each conservation area will be run by a Management Council, chaired by the government-appointed administrator of the area, and including representatives of local communities, private businesses and local state bodies.The bill adds that the state “may establish partnerships with the private sector, local communities, national and foreign civil society organisations, through contracts, and with the private partner financing in whole or in part the administration of the conservation areas, thus creating synergies in favour of the preservation of biological diversity”.Any public or private body authorised to exploit natural resources in a conservation area or its buffer zone, must compensate for its impacts “and ensure that there is no net loss of biodiversity”.Current conservation areas cover about 25 per cent of Mozambique’s surface area. The bill divides them into “areas of total conservation”, and “conservation areas of sustainable use”.The former term covers nature reserves and national parks. In these areas no hunting, agriculture, logging, mining or other acts that may damage biodiversity are permitted. The introduction of exotic species is also banned. Cultural or natural monuments are also fully protected, and the bill guarantees the preservation of any rare, endemic or endangered species found there.The “conservation areas of sustainable use” include special reserves, environmental protection areas, official hunting areas, community conservation areas, wildlife sanctuaries and private wild life farms. Each of these has its own set of rules, but they are less stringent than for national parks. In some of them hunting is allowed under licence, and communities are allowed to exploit their resources for their own subsistence, and in a sustainable manner. Any tourist or other activities authorised in conservation areas must pay fees to the state, fixed by the government, and a certain percentage of those fees will be channelled to the local communities.


Residents of Morrumbala district, in the central Mozambican province of Zambezia, on Tuesday thanked President Armando Guebuza for the work he had done for the country’s development during his ten years in office. A message presented at a rally addressed by Guebuza in Morrumbala town, as part of his “open and inclusive presidency” in the province praised the achievements in expanding the electricity, water supply and telecommunications networks, and in building new schools, hospitals, roads and bridges. “For the 500 years the settlers stayed in Mozambique, they never had the plan to build the kind of bridge that Guebuza built over the Zambezi river, which allows the circulation of vehicles day and night”, said one resident, Dikson Gulamanda. He was referring to about the bridge, named after Guebuza, which carries the main north-south road across the Zambezi, between Caia in Sofala province and Chimuara in Zambezia. Guebuza told the rally that, although his term of office is coming to an end, work to ensure development and the well-being of all Mozambicans must be continued in Morrumbala and throughout the country.  Morrumbala town, he said, “has changed greatly in comparison with what it used to be, thanks to the support its people have given to the implementation of development projects, which shows that Mozambique is united. We are the same. We work united by our Mozambican identity”.  People, he added, had to believe “in the past, which is the source, in the present, which is the current reality, and in the future, which is what we want to happen, in a spirit of unity because only thus will be have sufficient strength to overcome all the difficulties we face”.  “The unity of Mozambicans was built over time”, he continued. “When we talk about independence, we are talking about unity and peace which cost a great deal of sacrifice”. He recalled that during the war of destabilisation it was “almost impossible” to reach Morrumbala, “but the people resisted and consented to sacrifices until they achieved peace”.  Calling for the preservation of peace, Guebuza said “it is with this peace that we are building the Mozambique we want”. That did not mean there were no problems: “even when a child falls ill, that does not mean that he stops growing, merely that he has difficulties”, the President added.Mozambicans all “have the same destiny, and for that reason we shall continue to transmit the message of peace, dialogue and work. With violence we gain nothing, and only lose”, said Guebuza.


Mozambican Transport Minister Gabriel Muthisse has declared that the new port and coal terminal at Nacala-a-Velha, in the northern province of Nampula, and the railway linking it to the Moatize coal basin, will be concluded by December of this year. In a lengthy interview in Tuesday’s issue of the Maputo daily, Muthisse said that, once the port and railway are concluded, it will be possible to export 22 million tonnes of cargo through Nacala, of which 18 million tonnes will be coal. So far, coal exports from Moatize, in the western province of Tete, are all sent along the Sena railway line to the port of Beira. Even with an increase in handling capacity to 12 million tonnes a year, the Sena line cannot possible handle all the coal exports from Tete, which, in the medium term, could reach 100 million tonnes a year. Hence the construction of new lines. The railway from Moatize to Nacala, financed by the Brazilian mining company Vale, involves new stretches of line through Malawi. The railway will re-enter Mozambique at Entre-Lagos, in Niassa province, and the existing northern corridor, through Niassa and Nampula is being upgraded to deal with the coal traffic. Muthisse added that in 18 to 20 months there will be a new coal terminal in Beira, with the capacity to handle 30 million tonnes a year. An entirely new port will be built at Macuse on the coast of Zambezia province, and another new rail line will link it to Moatize. It too will be able to deal with 30 million tonnes of coal a year. “Our challenge in this area is not just having the facilities”, said Muthisse. “It is to guarantee that they are managed in an efficient and competitive way. We don’t want our national products to become uncompetitive because of our railways or our ports”. He warned that the tariffs for Mozambican ports and railways “must take into account those of the region and of the world. If our costs are higher than those in the region and the world, then we have to reduce our costs”. “We have to take international dynamics into account”, stressed the Minister, in order to allow the Mozambican rail and port systems to attract more cargo from other countries of the region, such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and even the Democratic Republic of Congo. As for urban public transport, Muthisse stressed the need for “financial sustainability” – in other words, for fare rises. With fares that do not cover the costs of a bus company, the buses break down and are not repaired. “In the past, we injected 300 more buses into Maputo”, he recalled. 
“But three months later half the buses were off the roads. This wasn’t due to bad management, and it wasn’t due, as many people think, to the type of bus. It was because the fares charged in Maputo public transport are not enough to buy tyres and spare parts, or to guarantee maintenance of the buses we bought and allocated to the Maputo bus company (TPM)” Private transport operators faced similar financial problems. Fares on the privately owned minibuses (known as “chapas”) which provide much of the country’s urban passenger transport are pegged at seven meticais (about 23 US cents) for short distances, and nine meticais for longer distances. Muthisse asked whether such fares are enough to guarantee investment in this area, and to ensure that the “chapas” are “more comfortable, more convenient, more efficient, obey timetables and go at acceptable speeds”. Muthisse has also begun to take measures against transport companies that put the lives of their passengers at risk. He has suspended the licence of the private long distance bus company “Maning Nice” because of traffic accidents caused by its drivers.   Over the past three years, Maning Nice buses have been involved in seven accidents, resulting in 14 deaths. 94 other people were injured. The accidents were blamed on excessive speed. Since warnings seemed to have no effect, Muthisse opted to suspend the company’s licence as from 14 April. The company’s buses will only be allowed back on the roads after it has taken corrective measures to be discussed with and monitored by the road safety authorities.